Stakeholders in the petroleum industry who rose from a crucial local content workshop in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State last week also counseled that “for Nigerian Content to positively benefit host communities, a nexus must be established between industry capacity development initiatives and the social, human and environmental needs of oil and gas host communities.
They said there was also the need for better inter-governmental cooperation and synergy to support the advancement of Nigerian Content as an integral part of the Federal Government’s Transformation agenda.
The workshop delegates underlined the importance of the manufacturing sector to the country’s industrialization plan, hence the need to encourage Original Equipment Manufacturers, OEMs to partner with Nigerians to manufacture some of their equipment components in Nigeria, adding that “initiatives geared towards development of vital infrastructure to support the oil and gas value chain through programmes such as NCDMB’s Nigerian Oil and Gas Industrial Park Scheme (NOGIPS) which seeks to establish robust hubs of oil and gas services in each of the nine (9) oil producing states of the country should be supported.
Other strong positions agreed in the communique included asking the Board to continue encouraging Nigerians to invest in assets (pipelines, marine etc) in the oil and gas value chain and to make the process of accessing the Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF) less cumbersome for companies requiring funding aid.
The stakeholders harped on the need for Nigerian banks to be adequately educated on the business environment of the oil and gas sector so that they can develop products with the necessary marketability and flexibility for the sector while encouraging oil and gas stakeholders to change financing strategy options from contract financing to business development financing which is a long term strategy, more feasible and provides a win-win solution for both bank and customer.
Another key issue was that training should be steered and coordinated towards adequate closure of identified skill gaps that are immediately required in-country and NCDMB was urged to put more effort in enforcing compliance with the NOGICD Act, 2010 in the industry through robust monitoring system and an effective review system.
The Federal Government was also advised to support NCDMB with more funding for staff development and increase manpower capacity while Operators and Service companies were challenged on the need to engage oil and gas host communities’ not just on non-skilled services but also for skilled services because some communities have gradually developed necessary capacity over the years.